UN ESCAP through its Infrastructure Financing and Public-Private Partnership Network of Asia and the Pacific in partnership with the China Public Private Partnerships Center (CPPPC) under the Ministry of Finance and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) will host the Fifth Meeting of the Infrastructure Financing and Public-Private Partnership Network of Asia and the Pacific virtually on 22 June 2021 from 12:00 PM to 3:30 PM, Bangkok time, GMT+7. The objective of the Fifth Meeting of the PPP Network is to bring together and engage Heads of PPP units, infrastructure financing specialists, development partners, and academic institutions to enhance knowledge and capacity of PPP units on the effective use of PPP mechanisms as well as other infrastructure financing strategies to support the pursuit of sustainable and resilient infrastructure development.
Infrastructure is the foundation of sustainable and more resilient development pathways and underpins the three pillars of sustainable development. Thus, sustainable and resilient infrastructure needs to be socially, economically and environmentally sound and a key foundation for economic activity and for reaching the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). According to the 2021 Asia-Pacific SDG Progress Report, the region is currently making slow progress on achieving all the 17 SDGs, including Goal 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure. Meeting the Paris Agreement’s mitigation and adaptation objectives will also require a radical shift in the world’s infrastructure base. Therefore, infrastructure investment, the infrastructure and technology transformations needed to shift onto low-emission, climate-resilient pathways, and the incremental capital costs involved must be embraced and considered.
Consequently, the Meeting will also propose guidelines that are by no means one-size-fits-all solutions, noting that it will be essential to tailor actions to the specificities of project proposals. Since infrastructure assets are typically designed to last for decades, infrastructure’s impacts are long lasting and have the potential to lock countries into unsustainable development pathways, for instance due to higher rates of greenhouse gas emissions and insufficient resilience to climatic and other catastrophic events. Countries must avoid investments that lock in carbon-intensive and resource-inefficient infrastructure and technology, and instead focus on investments in green infrastructure, clean energy, clean technology, and human and natural capital.
Harnessing the benefits of rapidly emerging technologies, new business models and financial innovations will be key in opening new pathways to low-emission, resilient futures. Mobilizing public and private means across the financial spectrum is an indispensable part of generating the trillions of dollars needed for sustainable and climate resilient infrastructure. Public finance institutions, banks, institutional investors, corporations, capital markets and other finance innovations such as crowd-sourcing all have a crucial role to play, both in their own right and as part of the broader financial ecosystem.